Lienhard 15

as a result of the atomic bomb, technology became frightening Lienhard sees "modern" as something that has ended (we are now postmodern or something new that comes after postmodern)

Through the 20th century, people figure out how to use science to give us new powers more effectively.  When does this become something different?  With the atomic bomb?

The nice neat scientific world that had seemed possible in the 19th century was replace in the 20th with quantum mechanics, relativity, and nuclear physics
German scientists many of the key discoveries in nuclear physics that made nuclear weapons possible, leading to fear in the U.S. that the Germans would build an atomic bomb.

Lise Meitner
  Lise Meitner
Difficulties setting up such a big, uncertain research and development project: the Manhattan Project
gaseous
        diffusion plant at oak ridge
  gaseous diffusion plant at Oak Ridge, photo from fas.org
atomic bombs
 Bombs used in Japan, photo from fas.org
 The decision to drop the bomb ( good links on the decision )
Hiroshima
 bomb damage in Hiroshima, photo from fas.org

Does it fit the theory of just war?
The scientists tried to prevent an arms race from developing.  Why did they feel so strongly, and did they have any hope of success?

people were shocked by the power of technology to do harm
it only took six years to turn uncertain science into a devastating weapon


There were also positive technologies that came out of WWII:
penicillian promotional image
Penicillin:
People were frightened by the bomb and began to question the idea that technological progress was always good: Godzilla tribute
This page written and copyright Pamela E. Mack
HIST 1220
last updated 10/17/16